|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:45-68 If God inflicts vengeance, what miseries his curse can bring upon mankind, even in this present world! Yet these are but the beginning of sorrows to those under the curse of God. What then will be the misery of that world where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched! Observe what is here said of the wrath of God, which should come and remain upon the Israelites for their sins. It is amazing to think that a people so long the favourites of Heaven, should be so cast off; and yet that a people so scattered in all nations should be kept distinct, and not mixed with others. If they would not serve God with cheerfulness, they should be compelled to serve their enemies. We may justly expect from God, that if we do not fear his fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one way or other God will be feared. The destruction threatened is described. They have, indeed, been plucked from off the land, ver. 63. Not only by the Babylonish captivity, and when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; but afterwards, when they were forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem. They should have no rest; no rest of body, ver. 65, but be continually on the remove, either in hope of gain, or fear of persecution. No rest of the mind, which is much worse. They have been banished from city to city, from country to country; recalled, and banished again. These events, compared with the favour shown to Israel in ancient times, and with the prophecies about them, should not only excite astonishment, but turn unto us for a testimony, assuring us of the truth of Scripture. And when the other prophecies of their conversion to Christ shall come to pass, the whole will be a sign and a wonder to all the nations of the earth, and the forerunner of a general spread of true christianity. The fulfilling of these prophecies upon the Jewish nation, delivered more than three thousand years ago, shows that Moses spake by the Spirit of God; who not only foresees the ruin of sinners, but warns of it, that they may prevent it by a true and timely repentance, or else be left without excuse. And let us be thankful that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his own person all that punishment which our sins merit, and which we must otherwise have endured for ever. To this Refuge and salvation let sinners flee; therein let believers rejoice, and serve their reconciled God with gladness of heart, for the abundance of his spiritual blessings.
Verse 50. - A nation of fierce countenance; literally, firm or hard of face; i.e. obdurate and determined (cf. Proverbs 21:29; Daniel 8:23).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A nation of fierce countenance,.... Or, "strong of face" (y); which aptly describes the old Romans, who are always represented as such; and whereas it is said of the Chaldeans, that they were a nation dreadful and terrible, Habakkuk 1:7; the same is said of the fourth beast, or Roman empire, Daniel 7:7; who were a terror to all the world:
which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: cruel, unmerciful, and uncompassionate, to persons of whatsoever age or sex; which, as it was the character of the Chaldeans, 2 Chronicles 36:17; so of the Romans, who especially showed no mercy to the Jews, as Josephus (z), who was an eyewitness, testifies."The Romans (says he) showed no mercy to any age, out of hatred to the nation (of the Jews), and in remembrance of the injuries done to Cestius;''one of their governors, when among them. And in another place he says (a),"the Romans, remembering what they suffered in the siege, spared none, and showed no mercy.''
(y) "fortem faciebus", Montanus; "robustam facie", Vatablus. (z) De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 1.((a) Ibid. sect. 34.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
50. A nation of fierce countenance—a just description of the Romans, who were not only bold and unyielding, but ruthless and implacable.
Deuteronomy 28:50 Parallel Commentaries
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